MCPS class of 2018 earn high scores on ACT


Zoe Kaufmann

College test prep books sit on a shelf in the CIC.

By Zoe Kaufmann

Montgomery County Public Schools’ class of 2018 outperformed both the national and state averages on last year’s ACT, a MCPS press release announced Oct. 23. County students earned an average composite score of 25.1 (out of 36) on the ACT. In comparison, the average score for Maryland as a whole was 22.5, while the nationwide average was 20.

Of MCPS’ total graduating class in 2018, 34 percent—or 3,743 students—took the ACT. Fewer students from this group choose the ACT than 2017’s seniors, but ACT rates in the county have gone up by around 5 percent since 2014, MCPS data reports, following a national trend of test-takers choosing the ACT over the SAT.

The ACT, which is designed to measure college readiness, includes four subsections in English, Reading, Math and Science. While most colleges accept the test as an equivalent to the SAT, it takes a shorter period of time to complete. The ACT has fewer questions but moves much faster, one of the features that makes it appealing to students, junior Maeve Hagerty said.

“The ACT tends to be a lot more straightforward, it just tends to be harder with time, versus the SAT. You have to read the questions really closely because they try to trick you with word choice,” senior Aarushi Malhotra said. “I wouldn’t necessarily say it was more comfortable. They’re kind of the same experience for me.”